Tips from an Electrician


Label Your Circuit Panel

I always recommend that you have your circuit breaker panel accurately labeled for easy reference. The items needed to complete this project are a radio without batteries, a multimeter, and a drop light with long cord. All of these are available at most home improvement stores.

The first step is to turn on all the lights in your house, just like what you used to get in trouble for when you did it when you were a kid. Then use the drop light or radio by plugging it into one of the outlets. Now set the light up that you plugged in so you see it from the panel, or turn the radio on loud enough so you can hear it. Either way will work fine. Now go through all the breakers and turn each of them off until the light or the radio goes out. After you find the right one and it goes out, go to that room where you had the light/radio plugged into and check to see what additional things went out. Next, use the multimeter on outlets that you do not have something plugged into to see if it still has power.

For a good reference in most homes, the following items should be on dedicated circuits:

  • Single pole breakers
  • Double Pole Breakers
  • Range (Oven/Cooktop)
  • Whole House Fan
  • Furnace
  • A/C System
  • Dishwasher
  • Electric Water Heater 
  • Garbage Disposal
  • Washer (Laundry)
  • Dryer (Laundry)
  • 2 for the Kitchen Counter Outlets

Bulbs That Often Burn Out

bulbs can burn out for a couple of different reasons. The first reason is, it might be that the wattage is too high for the type of fixture you are using. Most completely enclosed fixtures only allow for a 60watt bulb max. (Most fixtures will have the bulb type, and wattage printed on the fixture.) The second, reason is the socket might be burned or damaged. If a bulb is not making good contact within the socket, then some electrical arcing might occur and cause power surges in the bulb, thus shortening the life span of the bulb. We have all experienced this before at some point. Most bulbs will only last about 2,000 hours. Just for a good reference point, using a bulb for 8 hours a day, a bulb should last around 8 months.

Power Fluctuations

Power fluctuations can be caused by several different reasons ranging from loose wires, construction in your neighborhood, or the main electrical service being too small for the property. If the fluctuations are isolated to one room or one part of the property, then that is an indication of possible loose wires. And you will need to contact an electrician. If the lights in the entire property dim when any major appliance (A/C, dryer, or oven) is used, that is an indication that the service is too small for the property, and needs to be increased. Again, you will need to contact an electrician. Should you need assistance with both of these issues you can contact us at Del-Air Electrical and we can get you taken care of immediately. 

About Permits

Any major repairs and all remodeling projects are required to have the required permits. The reason for this is to make sure all the work is being done correctly and to current building, safety, and fire codes. It is always important to have that permit and we at Del-Air Electrical always pull permits. Make sure whomever you hire to work on the remodeling project or any major repairs that they are pulling a permit for you.

Choosing Fixtures? Begin Here.

Due to the immense number of and variant designs in light fixtures, switches, and outlets, no one catalog, Web site, or distributor can or will have everything you want and deserve. Go to a local lighting store that specializes in fixtures, and look through their catalogs. Most sales associates can guide you onto the right direction after asking some basic questions about color, style, and material.

Another easy and inexpensive way to get ideas is to look in the home improvement magazines. In addition, check out your friends homes to see what they have done. You might get inspired. Also, you can have an interior designer come to your home and give you some pointers as to what to do and where to start, but be sure to ask to see their portfolio to make sure that they have done projects similar to your style before they start.

If you have moved recently, make sure to live in the house for a short time before making any major decisions. After experiencing your environment and the flow of the home then it will become easier to design the lighting around what works best for your lifestyle.

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Del-Air Electrical is a full service Orlando electrical contractor company servicing residential, commercial and industrial customers in Florida for over 20 years. We have Orlando Electricians, Tampa Electricians, Jacksonville Electricians, Melbourne Electricians, Palm Beach Electricians and Fort Myers Electricians. We provide full capability electrical contracting for new construction, renovations, tenant improvements, service upgrades, exterior, interior, landscape lighting, retrofits, service installations and repair.

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